The Audience Takes its Cue From You

A slug by a microphone in front of an audience

What you put out, you are likely to get back.

To give you a metaphor illustrating this:

If you’re the slug at the front, expect your audience to be slugs in the seats. This may be an extreme visual, but there’s so much truth in it. Your audience will respond to your energy, vibrancy, and engagement with the topic, and what they see from you as the presenter or speaker is what they will mirror back. 

So if you’re low in energy or appear disinterested, be prepared for that to come right back at you.

Of course, we need to expand on this metaphor—you may have no issues at all with energy levels, and the slug doesn’t remotely apply. Maybe you’re more grasshopper or anything in between! In which case, think about your own style in different situations, times of the day or week, or certain environments. Is your style what you want your audience to absorb? 

This question applies as much—if not more so—if you’re an experienced presenter or speaker. We can get very comfortable, even complacent, and stop paying as much attention to how we come across as we should. We rely on familiarity and may forget to check in with ourselves. 

I know I’ve done this myself, and periodically, I need to remind myself to step back, refocus, and recalibrate where I am on the scale. 

Yes, it’s pretty much second nature. But the moment I start to think this way, there’s potential danger.  

Remembering that my belief is that good public speaking is about your audience far more than it is about us. 

So, while I’m not suggesting that you’ll ever come across as the slug at the front, it’s still worth considering how you might come across. 

Best wishes with your public speaking and presentations. 


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